Plate Chiller With Pellet Hops
Posted 01 May 2008 - 10:35 PM
Anyone using one of these and happy with how it works?
How do you use it to ensure no blockage, and is cleaning it a real problem?
Posted 01 May 2008 - 10:39 PM
Posted 01 May 2008 - 10:48 PM
Could not have put it better myself bakkerman.
I use pellets, plate chiller and a hop sock.
Posted 01 May 2008 - 11:40 PM
It is a good idea to put some kind of filter before a plate chiller, and also position the pickup tube so as to minimise the hop trub uptake in the first place.
I think it's fair to say that if you were to not flush & clean the plate chiller out properly after each use, and be using a plain pickup tube that allows everything to go through, you may end up with flow problems or a blockage within a few brews due to accumulated pellet hop trub, but I doubt it would block with pellets in one brew unless you picked up a huge amount of hop trub in one go. Getting a piece of whole hop cone in the chiller might be a different story.......but even then you'd have to get a lot in there to block every wort path. Far more important is the hygiene side of getting solids in there, solids provide a place for bacteria to hang out & hide from sanitiser when you do your next brew. Rule # 1 is 'If it doesn't get in there, you don't have to get it out'
Posted 01 May 2008 - 11:54 PM
Well done... It's good to see a retailer not just preaching the virtues of their product merely to move it along. That sort of advice showed a great deal of honesty.
Must confess they're an interesting looking bit of kit. I reckon in conjunction with some form of hopback they'd be pretty handy.
Might take the plunge one day (been tempted by one for a while). A new brew toy is a good thing.
Edit: Dom, how would they go say for example if you boiled one in a pot to sanitize it? Are they prone to damage this way?
Edited by warrenlw63, 01 May 2008 - 11:56 PM.
Posted 02 May 2008 - 12:05 AM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 06:30 AM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:18 AM
Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:26 AM
Please be sure to let us know how it goes after your brew.
Will do, including photos.
Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:31 AM
Thanks browndog looking forward to your results.
Posted 02 May 2008 - 11:53 AM
I wash straight after use with hot water (both directions) and then run a no rinse sanitiser thru it and leave it till next time when i give it another no rinse sanitiser flush.
Posted 03 May 2008 - 07:28 AM
Posted 04 May 2008 - 12:50 AM
The braid in the kettle
kettlebottom.JPG 141.85KB 34 downloads
whirlpool pickup and return
inlet_outlet.JPG 151.48KB 14 downloads
inlet_outlet_outside.JPG 149.48KB 12 downloads
The new plumbing
plumbing.JPG 134.21KB 34 downloads
Draining the kettle 1L per min
draining_kettle.JPG 137.73KB 15 downloads
What was left in the kettle
kettle_remains.JPG 157.14KB 28 downloads
More to follow on the use of the chillout.
Edited by browndog, 04 May 2008 - 12:52 AM.
Posted 04 May 2008 - 01:27 AM
I have had no success with whirlpooling in my kettle and I am actually more afraid of "build up" from a combination of hops and protein trub than I am of actual blocking - this is what eventually slows down and kills the plate filters at work - so I have designed my solution to avoid both the problems I have with whirpooling and to remove basically all the hop and hot break trub from the wort prior to hitting the plate chiller.
Basically I filter it. My pick-up tube runs from dead center bottom of my converted keg kettle and sucks up every last drop and all the gunge thats in the kettle - then it goes through a standard 10inch filter housing with an old beer filter cartridge in it (not good enough for yeast any more but fine for this) so what gets to the kettle is basically clear as could be. As a bonus I can use the filter and housing as an actual hop back and put my aroma addition in it instead of the kettle. This seems to work well.
Several brews into this method, it is working well simply by gravity, although the last brew was an APA with a lot of hop matter and 45g of pellets stuffed directly into the filter cartridge... this was asking a bit too much and the last 5L or so had to be pushed through with the March pump.
So far I'm happy - I get the extra utilization of not having to use a hop sock, I don't have to wait at all for a whirlpool or settling rest (flame off start to drain immediately) I get to drain my kettle completely and lose less than 500ml of wort to trub, I get to be confident that the absolute minimum of goo is getting into my plate chiller, and nothing but cold break is getting into the fermentor either. - My method and set-up is still a bit rustic, but after a few more brews I should have it dialed in and be able to nail a few bits of hardware into place rather than having them floating around the brewery to be tripped over.
I immediately backflush the plate chiller with hot water saved from the chill - I sanitise by covering the wort side in/outlets with tinfoil and baking the thing in the oven for a couple of hours. That way even if there are chunks of bugs hiding in there, they get to die at 200°C and the chiller stays sterile till next use.
Pictures follow of a test run done with 300g (ish) of hop pellets just to see how it would go. Since then I have changed the pick-up to run directly from the center bottom of the kettle. This needed to be pushed with the pump by the end... but it was a LOT of hops
IMG_1678.JPG 58.82KB 22 downloads IMG_1681.JPG 52.2KB 25 downloads
IMG_1682.JPG 25.43KB 20 downloads IMG_1684.JPG 37.2KB 10 downloads
Posted 04 May 2008 - 08:35 AM
Posted 04 May 2008 - 10:51 PM
Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:10 PM
For the record I backflush my pump and chillout with hot tap water after use and leave it full of water. During the last 20min of the boil of my next brew I use my pump and HLT recirculate boiling water through it until its time to chill.
Edited by Sammus, 04 May 2008 - 11:13 PM.
Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:25 PM